Obtaining ObedienceWe had four kids. We started with “obedience training” when the child was able to wilfully disobey, at around age 2.5. (We did not train puppies! We only wanted them to obey when needed.). The child understood what we wanted, was able to do it but did not comply, because he liked something too much or he just liked to be naughty to have our attention. We avoided that as much as possible with loads of positive attention when they were good, so that they hadn’t to be bad. (One of the biggest mistake you can make as a parent to only pay them attention when they are bad).
The first rule was consistency in our demands. A reasonably strict education allows for consistency. The clearer the rule and the more consistently it is applied, the sooner the child will know the rule and follow it. The second rule was consistency in our punishments. Punishment should be simple and easily understood. We ‘escalated’ from reasoning, rebuking and corner time to spanking (with corner time). The third rule was consistency in spanking. A good “spank” is a firm smack that causes a keen sting and then burns hotly for a few minutes. We gave two of these on the bare bottom, one left and one right, and put them in the corner. They didn’t like that. They howled for one or two minutes, and when it was over they were allowed out. Once or twice they tried our resolve and got a second dose, but a third was never needed.
Soon, a warning was enough. Punishment stopped to be necessary, as they knew what to expect. Spankings only fail when you are not consistent in your demands (what is allowed the one day, is not on another day), not consistent in your punishment (what the one day is a sad sigh while looking away is the other day a violent punishment), or not consistent in your spanking (a spanking hurts, otherwise it is no spanking.)